Marie Antoinette (12A)

Written and Directed by Sophia Coppola
On general release from 20th October 2006

Reviewed by Adam Ford

If there’s one thing most people know about Marie Antoinette, the last queen of France, it’s that she was a rich bitch who didn’t give a damn about the poor. Ok, so she may not actually have said ‘let them eat cake’ when told that people didn’t have enough bread, but she might as well have done. So it is interesting that Sophia Coppola – heir to her father’s throne – tries to portray the pampered aristocrat as somehow deserving of sympathy in this biopic.

As a teenager, Marie Antoinette of Austria (played here by Kirsten Dunst) was married off to the dauphin Louis (Jason Schwartzman). He was the French equivalent of Prince Charles, making her the equivalent of Di. In fact that analogy stands up quite well, because they were totally incompatible, yet pressurised into producing a male child, and she ended-up having an affair with an aristocratic military man (Jamie Dornan). All this takes place amidst fantastic, obscene riches, strict protocol, and hair that gets progressively bigger as the film goes on.

In Sophia Coppola’s version of reality, Antoinette wasn’t totally shallow, because she read Rousseau tracts with her ladies in waiting. However, little did she know that the words she was quoting echoed changes going on outside her bubble, changes that would eventually lead to her overthrow and the reign of the emerging capitalist class in France.

Dunst lives-up to the starring role very well, but then she has actually gone on record as saying she “really showed (herself) in this movie the most” whilst wallowing in this ridiculously decadent opulence. There’s no dialogue to speak of in this film, just another box of shoes, another glass of champagne, another party. It’s an absolute fantasy. It’s this week’s The Devil Wears Prada. It’s an absolute spectacle, in the very worst sense of the word. Ordinary people are meant to hand over their fivers, drool over the kind of wealth they will never experience this side of another revolution, and get back to work.

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Comment left by johno on 27th January, 2007 at 10:30
its a current revisionist trend in history(the end of which was proclaimed in recent history rather) portray the subject out of time frame context witness hitler(downfall bruno.performance) as a broken man a guy who needs to be on the Dla (mobility component)let alone running an army country or war into the ground and total oblivion..also other such things (last king of scotland) idi amin a graduate of one of englands finest schools sandhurst military academy..these biopic a historical tv eyecandy paparama are for the short attention podcast whats a book generation of illiterati..being created a dumbed down sensation seeking population is easier to control render inert and keep conformity going with..unlike an educated skilled and godless mob intent on beheading the parasites ..the swinish multitudes of burke..malthusian solutions now apply to entry into and out of the country.. we can only hope hollywoods ideological factory will be struck by the workers and technicians and indymedia grows to replace the babylon that should be burning with anxiety

Comment left by Audri on 3rd November, 2007 at 15:09
I am doing a report on Marie Antoinette and I have learned that her scandelous stories are untrue! The nobles of France were angry at her for actually caring about France's increasing financial crisis and economical debt. She actually reduced the household servents and eliminated unnessesary positions that were only based on privilege which set the nobles off which caused them to create rumors and false stories of their Queen. She was put in prison and seperated from the one's that she cared about and was executed for crimes that no one could prove. She was tortured in unhuman ways during her final days in captivity. So Marie Antoinette is more than you think, and the movie they made was politically incorrect. She was the Queen of France for 20 years and as all of us she was not human but she was not the prima donna and diva that peoples make her seem to be which disrespects her to the highest extent.

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